In a sport of a different stripe, batting .500 is outta this world.
So Ill take what I can get.
Your Gridiron Guru went 2-of-4 in last weekends wild-card games, as I got blindsided by Bengals and frisked by a Flacco.
Looking back, I wasnt tricked by the Texans Cincinnati simply was even worse than I gave them credit for. Arian Foster made the Bengals supposedly staunch defense look silly in what was the only pretty aspect of an otherwise very unpretty game. Andy Dalton was ugliest of all: Three yards in a half? Wheres Tim Tebow when you need him?
Now, Baltimores Joe Flacco was a surprise. The return of Ray Lewis to the Ravens lineup provided an emotional jolt that made Chuckstrong look pretty weak, and even Flacco seemed to get into the mood, throwing for 282 yards and two touchdowns without a single turnover. The 125.6-passer-rating Joe isnt the one I know. That pick Id make, again.
In fact, I will:
Saturday, Jan. 12
Baltimore at Denver, 2:30 p.m. (KCNC, KREZ) Flacco vs. Manning doesnt exactly conjure visions of great quarterback duels of yore. This is where the real Flacco stands back up. You know, the one last seen in Denver lying face-down on the turf as Chris Harris sped by for a pick-6. If Baltimore has any hope at bucking the Broncos, it will come from the powerful legs of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, who chugged to 103 yards last weekend. But Denvers defense has a lot more horsepower than a Colt. Meanwhile, Lewis got the home send-off that he wanted, but the final-season fairy tale cant last when another glove sighting proves that its hard to hang with the Broncos when youre a mile high with Peyton Manning in Colorado. Pick: Broncos 33-19. Line: Broncos by 8½.
Green Bay at San Francisco, 6 p.m. (KOBF, KUSA) Aaron Rodgers seems to be more machine now than man, twisted and evil if you ask Vikings fans. The Packs quarterback simply cant be stopped. If anything can slow him down, though, its the 49ers defense if it shows up for the full 60. Still, a slower Rodgers aint no Flacco, so the Niners had better keep the hyperdrive humming, too. Week 1 is a long time ago in a memory far, far away at this point. Colin Kaepernick now leads San Franciscos quest to become one with Lombardi Trophy, adding an extra twist to an already quirky offense that has shown it can pack a punch. The 49ers cannot escape their destiny, so if Im a cheesehead, Ive got a bad feeling about this. Pick: 49ers 32-30. Line: 49ers by 3.
Sunday, Jan. 13
Seattle at Atlanta, 11 a.m. (KASA) Weve all seen what happens to Matty Ice when that postseason heat cranks up. Seattle has the cornerback chops to keep Atlantas Julio Jones and Roddy White flying circles, which figures to make Matt Ryan melt. Again. The Falcons arent ready for the rolling Russell Wilson, and the Seahawks are set to prove theyre the baddest birds in the NFL. Pick: Seahawks 24-20. Line: Falcons by 3.
Houston at New England, 2:30 p.m. (KCNC, KREZ) in Week 14, the Patriots turned Schaub into a schlub in Foxborough. This week, more of the same. Houston will have to rely on its defense to keep the game close, but with with a veritable and versatile arsenal of weapons, Tom Brady wont have much trouble ending the Texans one-game not-losing streak with alacrity. Plus: Houston, prepare to get Gronked. Pick: Patriots 38-23.Line: Patriots by 9½.